What Are The Effects Of Untreated Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is one of the most common forms of sleeping disorder, second only to insomnia. Sleep apnea occurs when a person experiences interruption and frequent pauses in breathing throughout the night, preventing them from going into deep sleep that is required for repairing the body after a long day. People who experience sleep apnea find themselves constantly waking up in the middle of the night, often short of breath.
Sleep apnea is more common than widely perceived, affecting about 25% of all males and 10% of females. Sleep apnea can happen to anyone regardless of age, and even babies are at risk. Although seemingly harmless, sleep apnea can result in many effects that affect your overall wellbeing, even possibly resulting in serious health problems when left untreated. Read on to find out the possible effects of leaving sleep apnea untreated.
Long-term Untreated Sleep Apnea Effects
Rest is the most natural way of the body to repair itself from a long day’s work, and without sufficient rest for a long period of time, the body tends to wear out and become more prone to developing health problems.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) has a list of possible long-term health consequences associated with people that have untreated sleep apnea:
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
Immediate Untreated Sleep Apnea Effects
People who experience sleep apnea do not get adequate sleep and tend to feel extremely sleepy throughout the day. This also means a drastic decrease in concentration and focus levels throughout the day.
It is estimated that people who have untreated sleep apnea are three times more likely to suffer from workplace accidents as compared to others. This ratio drastically increases when it comes to traffic accidents, as those who have untreated sleep apnea are 15-20% more likely to be involved in sleep-related traffic accidents.
Other less serious effects include a decrease in performance levels at school or work. We recommend that you seek treatment immediately for your sleep apnea to avoid affecting your performance at work or in your daily life.
Seeking Treatment for Sleep Apnea
Thankfully, there are a variety of treatment options available for people who suffer from all types of sleep apnea. The most common form of treatment is CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) therapy, where a constant airflow is introduced from the CPAP machine into a mask, ensuring an adequate amount of oxygen throughout the night.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, we strongly recommend that you seek treatment from a medical professional immediately. The earlier you seek treatment, the more tolerable and effective the treatment process will be.